Also on The 4th Day of the Month of July
Commemoration of the Holy Right-believing Martyred Tsar Nicholas II, the Holy Right-believing Martyred Tsaritsa Alexandra,
the Holy Right-believing Martyred Tsarevich Alexis, the Holy Right-believing Martyred Tsarevnas Olga, Tatiana, Maria & Anastasia,
the Holy Right-believing Venerable Martyr Elizabeth, the Holy Right-believing Martyrs of the Imperial House, the Martyred Nun Barbara,
& the Faithful Imperial Servants Slain with Them
AT GREAT VESPERS
After the Introductory Psalm, we chant “Blessed is the man...,” the first antiphon.
At “Lord, I have cried...,” 8 stichera: 2 in Tone VI: Spec. Mel: “Having set all aside...” —
When Rus’, which from of old was holy, began to apostatize from its Creator and God, the long-suffering Lord sent many righteous men and prophets, of whom the last was the righteous John, the holy pastor of Kronstadt, who called sinners to repentance and proclaimed that the wrath of God would fall upon the unrepentant; but the people would not heed them. Then God committed the Russian land, which before had been pious, to great persecutions of the Faith, that He might bring sinners to their senses and exalt and glorify the faithful through the endurance, suffering and death for Christ, revealing a multitude of holy new martyrs, among whom were the great passion-bearer, the martyred Tsar Nicholas, with his Tsaritsa, children and servants, who now pray in behalf of our souls. Twice
And 2 in Tone II: Spec. Mel: “When from the Tree...” —
When thou, O martyred Tsar, wast imprisoned by those who contend against God, thou didst have great joy with thy Tsaritsa and children when the minister of God visited thee to perform the divine services. Such a pious Tsar and anointed one of God did a great many of the people reject, for they were not mindful of the word of God which calleth upon all to honor the ruler; and the wrath of God hath fallen upon us all. Wherefore, in repentance we cry out: O Lord, through the intercession of the great passion-bearer, the martyred Tsar, grant Thou to the suffering Russian land deliverance from those who contend against God and the restoration of the throne of our Orthodox tsars.
We raise a hymn to thee, O martyred Tsar, much-suffering passion-bearer, for thou didst make a place for all in thy heart, as did the Apostle Paul: feeding the hungry, comforting the sorrowful, sympathizing with the suffering, grieving over the lost, showing clemency to condemned malefactors, meekly enduring slander and injustice, zealous for the Faith and for piety, holding the glory and wealth of this world to be but naught and, what is more, feeling them to be a burden, having concern for the peace of the whole world, aflame with love for all. Take us also into thy heart, O much-suffering and great passion-bearer, and entreat the merciful God, that He take pity on us, and grant us the strength to be emulators of thee.
And 4 in Tone VI: Spec. Mel: “Having set all aside...” —
O divinely-crowned martyr, holy Tsaritsa Alexandra, who can recount thy truly evangelical life? Thou didst come to the Orthodox Faith from another belief, and didst embrace it wholeheartedly, coming to love prayer, the Church and the holy Mysteries, and the teaching of the holy Fathers, raising thy children in piety, and preparing them for martyrdom for Christ, meekly enduring the slander of those who had forgotten God and who did not understand thy true piety. Wherefore, we beseech thee: Entreat Christ God Whom thou didst love, that He save our souls.
Great was thy faith, O holy martyred Tsaritsa Alexandra, when thou wast imprisoned unjustly by those who contend against God; for knowing of the martyrs’ death which awaited you, thou didst speak thus: “Let us prepare ourselves to meet the heavenly Bridegroom! God filleth and illumineth my soul with indescribable joy and tranquility! My soul danceth for joy, knowing that the Bridegroom draweth nigh! My soul trembleth, for God is near! Let us ask of the Lord forgiveness of sins for ourselves and the whole world! Let us pray for those who forget to pray and for all the people!” O holy martyr, be thou a channel for the forgiveness of our sins and great mercy!
The holy martyred Tsarevich Alexis loved the power of the Cross. And this faith in the Cross helped him to bear without murmuring the cross of the suffering of an incurable affliction all throughout his brief life, and to accept with hope and patience a martyr’s death for Christ. And now in the heavens pray thou for us who with faith and love keep thy memory, that the Lord may also grant us faith, patience and love.
O holy martyrs for Christ, Tsarevnas Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia: Christ hath revealed you as angels in the land of Russia, for ye became a model of purity, love and sympathy, which ye were taught by your pious parents, possessed of great love for all, and especially for the suffering, to whom ye ministered in accordance with the commandment of Christ: I was sick and ye visited Me. And when the persecution, imprisonment and mockery began, ye showed forth the great virtues of faith, meekness, patience and the forgiveness of all, chanting your holy prayers and placing your trust in God, crying out to the Lord before the many icons which ye set up before yourselves, praying meekly for the enemies who were unjustly to vex and slay you. Your meekness and patience melted the hearts of the malefactors. Great were your virtues on earth; great also is your glory in the heavens, O holy brides of Christ. Pray ye in behalf of our souls.
Glory..., in Tone VIII —
O divinely elect and venerable martyred Princess Elizabeth, when the tempest of ungodliness fell upon the land of Russia, thou didst utter these things: “As in a natural storm these things take place: certain ones escape, others are struck down, and the spiritual eyes of others are opened that they might behold the mighty works of God, so also do they befall amid the wind of life.” For amid the misfortunes thy soul beheld the right hand of God: the cruel murder of thy husband led thee to the service of God and neighbor; thou didst minister unto the poor, the bereft and the crippled with humility and love. Moreover, thou didst embrace the monastic life, and refuse to flee from them who contend with God, fearlessly receiving a martyr’s death for Christ. And we, honoring thy fragrant relics, earnestly entreat thee: Pray thou for us who honor thy struggles and sufferings!
Now & ever...: the Dogmaticon in Tone VIII:
In His love for mankind, the King of heaven appeared on earth and dwelt among men; for He Who received flesh from the pure Virgin and came forth from her having received human nature, is the only Son of God, two in nature but not hypostasis. Therefore, proclaiming Him to be truly perfect God and perfect man, we confess Christ our God. Him do thou beseech, O Mother unwedded, that our souls find mercy!
Entrance. Prokimenon of the day. Three Lessons:
Reading from the Wisdom of Solomon (3:1-9).
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.
A Reading from the Third Book of Kings
Solomon stood up in front of the altar before all the congregation of Israel; and he spread out his hands toward heaven: and he said: “O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in heaven above and on the earth beneath. If the heaven and the heaven of heavens will not suffice Thee, how much less even this house which I have built to Thy name? Yet, O Lord God of Israel, Thou shalt look upon my petition, to hear the prayer which Thy servant doth pray to Thee in Thy presence this day, that Thine eyes may be open to this house day and night, even toward the place of which Thou didst say: ‘My name shall be there, to hear the prayer which My servant prayeth at this place day and night.’ And Thou shalt hearken unto the prayer of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, which they shall pray toward this place; and Thou shalt hear in Thy dwelling-place in heaven, and Thou shalt do and be gracious.”
A Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah
[Is. 61: 10-62: 5]
Let my soul rejoice in the Lord; for He hath clothed me with the robe of salvation, and the garment of joy: He hath put a crown on me as on a bridegroom, and adorned me with ornaments as a bride. And as the earth putting forth her flowers, and as a garden its seed, so shall the Lord, even the Lord, cause righteousness to spring forth, and exultation before all nations. For Sion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as light, and My salvation burn as a torch. And the gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and kings thy glory: and one shall call thee by a new name, which the Lord shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. And thou shalt no more be called Forsaken; and thy land shall not more be called Desert: for thou shalt be called My Pleasure, and the land Inhabited: for the Lord hath taken pleasure in thee, and thy land shall be inhabited. And as a young man liveth with a virgin, so shall thy sons dwell in thee: and it shall come to pass that as a bridegroom will rejoice over a bride, so will the Lord rejoice over thee.
At the Litia, the sticheron of the temple, and this sticheron to the martyrs, in Tone III —
True glory is suffering, for thus spake the Lord: Now is the Son of man glorified, calling the passion on the Cross His glory. And of this glory of the Cross were the royal martyrs accounted worthy, who emulated the sufferings of the Savior. Wherefore, Christ hath come to love them, and hath exalted them in the heavens, that they might pray in behalf of our souls.
Glory..., in Tone VIII —
The counsels of God are not as the counsels of men, nor are the ways of men like the ways of God, saith the Lord, for He humbleth one and exalteth another, the Lord bringeth death and giveth life, He impoverisheth and enricheth, He raiseth up the pauper from the earth, giving him a throne of glory. The Lord prepared a throne of glory for His beloved servant, the glorious martyred Tsar Nicholas, rewarding him for his piety; and because of the path of the cross which he trod, He caused him to live in the heavens, that he might pray for his people, that we may take care for the kingdom of heaven and for the salvation of our souls.
Now & ever...: Theotokion, in the same tone:
O unwedded Virgin who ineffably conceived God in the flesh, Mother of God Most High: accept the entreaties of thy servants, O most immaculate one, granting unto all cleansing of transgressions; and, accepting now our supplications, pray thou that we all be saved.
At the Aposticha, these stichera, in Tone VIII: Spec. Mel: “O most glorious wonder...” —
Thy concern was not for the glory of an earthly kingdom, O glorious martyred Tsar Nicholas, when thou didst receive coronation to the realm and the anointing with oil; but thou didst ponder the glory of God and the heavenly kingdom, saying in prayer before the people: “O my Master and Lord, direct and instruct me in this great ministry, that Thy divine wisdom may be with me; send it down from the heavens of Thy saints, that I may come to know what is pleasing in Thine eyes and what is right according to Thy commandments; may my heart be directed by Thee to accomplish all things for Thy glory and for the spiritual benefit of the people Thou hast entrusted to me.” And this prayer was pleasing in God’s sight. And now, as a martyr, cease not to pray to God for the spiritual benefit of thy people, that He be merciful to them, granting us remission of sins, peace and great mercy.
Stichos: I have raised up one chosen out of My people.
Like an innocent lamb was the martyred Tsar Nicholas led to the slaughter, with the Tsaritsa, their children and faithful servants. Possessed of a pure soul, entrusting himself and his household to God, never murmuring, he meekly accepted death for Christ; and now, standing with the angels and with the great company of new martyrs in the heavens, he prayeth for the salvation of the land of Russia from the cruel godless ones, that all that have fallen away from God might return to Him, that the fear of God may be established in their hearts, and that the faith of Christ may once again shine forth.
Stichos: With My holy oil have I anointed Him.
These things did the holy royal martyrs profess before they were unjustly put to death for Christ’s sake, repeating the testament of the holy Fathers: The ancient martyrs, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, went to death as to a feast, furnishing their mind and heart with wings of faith; and while condemned to death, they possessed a spirit of peace which never departed from them, for peacefully they went to death, trusting that they would enter into another, spiritual life which is revealed beyond the grave. And having put these words to the test in deed, the holy royal martyrs now rejoice with Christ in the heavens, praying with boldness in behalf of our souls.
Glory..., in Tone VI —
Who can recount thy labors and sufferings? O great passion-bearer, martyred Tsar Nicholas, thou didst assume the grievous burden of authority, not for the sake of glory, but as a Christian king and servant of Christ, as one concerned for the good of his people, enduring a multitude of tribulations. All of these things did the Lord permit because of the sins of the people, and that He might reveal thy piety, showing the world thy longsuffering, which was like that of the much suffering Job, that thou mightest receive a glorious martyr’s crown in the heavens, like unto that of Abel. And now joining chorus there with the angels, thou dost intercede for us before God, praying for the salvation of our souls.
Now & ever...: Theotokion:
“Christ the Lord, my Creator and Deliverer, Who came forth from thy womb, O all-pure one, and robed Himself in me, hath freed Adam from the curse. Wherefore, like the angel do we unceasingly cry out to thee, O most pure one, who art truly the Mother of God and Virgin: Rejoice! Rejoice, O Mistress, thou intercession, protection and salvation for our souls!
Troparion, in Tone V —
Meekly didst thou endure the loss of thine earthly kingdom, the bonds and divers sufferings inflicted upon thee by those opposed to God, and didst bear witness for Christ even unto death, O great passion-bearer, divinely crowned Tsar Nicholas; wherefore, Christ God hath crowned thee in the heavens with a martyr’s crown, together with thy queen, thy children and thy servants. Him do thou beseech, that He have mercy upon the Russian land and save our souls.
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion:
Rejoice, impassible gate of the Lord! Rejoice, rampart and protection of those who have recourse unto thee! Rejoice, haven untouched by storms, thou who knowest not wedlock, who gavest birth in the flesh to thy Creator and God! Fail not in thy supplications for those who hymn and worship thy birthgiving!
At “God is the Lord...,” the troparion of the martyrs, twice; Glory..., Now & ever...; Theotokion.
After the first chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, in Tone VII —
Thrice did Peter deny the Lord, yet he brought forth tears of repentance, and was straightway pardoned and elevated to the rank of foremost apostle. And the Tsar and great passion-bearer Nicholas, even though he abdicated the throne, beholding about him treason, fear and deceit, and perceiving that all of the military commanders and people near to him had rejected him, yet did he never renounce Christ or his love for his people, nor did he wish to flee from those who were opposed to God, but meekly endured all things and, though guiltless, accepted a martyr’s death for Christ, like his kinsmen, the right-believing princes Boris and Gleb. Wherefore, we entreat thee, O passion-bearer and Tsar: Beseech Christ God, that He grant remission of transgressions unto those who with love celebrate thy holy memory.
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion —
Accepting this supplication from us who flee to thy protection, O all-pure Virgin, cease not to pray to Him Who loveth mankind, that thy servants be saved.
After the second chanting of the Psalter, this Sessional hymn, in Tone VII —
With great love for thankless men, thou didst offer thyself, O great passion-bearer and Tsar, as a sacrifice for thy people, as thou didst say: “If a sacrifice is required for the people, let me be that sacrifice.” Greater love than this can no one have than to lay down his life for his friends. And now, standing before Christ Whom thou didst serve, entreat Him in behalf of us that with love honor thy memory.
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion —
Awesome is the wonder of the conceiving and ineffable the manner of the birthgiving which have become known in thee, O pure ever-virgin. My mind is stricken with awe and marvelleth. Thy glory, O Theotokos, is a joy for all, unto the salvation of our souls.
Polyeleos & Magnification —
We magnify you, O holy royal martyrs and passion-bearers, and we honor your honored sufferings, which ye endured for Christ.
Selected Psalm verses —
A Our God is refuge and strength. [Ps. 45: 2]
B A helper in afflictions which mightily befall us. [Ps. 45: 2]
A Therefore shall we not fear when the earth be shaken. [Ps. 45: 3]
B O God, who shall be likened unto Thee? Be Thou not silent, neither be still, O God. [Ps. 82: 2]
A For behold, Thine enemies have made a noise, and they that hate Thee have lifted up their heads. [Ps. 82: 3]
B Against Thy people have they taken wicked counsel, and have conspired against Thy saints. [Ps. 82: 4]
A They have made the dead bodies of Thy servants to be food for the birds of heaven. [Ps. 78: 2]
B The flesh of Thy saints for the beasts of the earth. [Ps. 78: 2]
A They have poured out their blood like water. [Ps. 78: 3]
B For Thy sake we are slain all the day long. [Ps. 43: 23]
A We are counted as sheep for the slaughter. [Ps. 43: 23]
B Thou hast made us a byword among the nations. [Ps. 43: 15]
A And I became a man scourged all the day long. [Ps. 72: 14]
B By fire hast Thou tried us even as silver is tried by fire. [Ps. 65: 11]
A We went through fire and water, and Thou didst bring us out into refreshment. [Ps. 65: 12]
B Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous. [Ps. 31: 11]
A For the Lord is in the generation of the righteous. [Ps. 13: 5]
B And their inheritance shall be for ever. [Ps. 36: 18]
A The righteous cried, and the Lord heard them. [Ps. 33: 18]
B A light hath dawned forth for the righteous man, and gladness for the upright of heart. [Ps. 96: 11]
A In everlasting remembrance shall the righteous be. [Ps. 111: 6]
B In the saints that are in His earth hath the Lord been wondrous; He hath wrought all His desires in them. [Ps. 15: 3]
A Wondrous is God in His saints, the God of Israel. [Ps. 67: 36]
B The righteous man shall flourish like a palm tree, and like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied. [Ps. 91: 13]
A The righteous man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him. [Ps. 63: 11]
B And all the upright in heart shall be praised. [Ps. 63: 11]
Glory…, Now & ever…
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, glory to Thee, O God. Thrice
After the Polyeleos, this Sessional hymn, in Tone VII —
When thou, O martyred Tsar Nicholas, didst accede to the royal throne, thou didst not ask of God rich estates, or glory, or the lives of those opposed to thee, nor length of days; but with all thine heart thou didst ask, as did the most wise Solomon, saying: “O Lord God, grant me wisdom and understanding.” Wherefore, the Lord hearkened unto thee, and granted thee that for which thou hadst asked, showing thee forth as a zealot of piety, a wise and humble tsar; and for thy piety He crowned thee with a glorious heavenly crown, that thou mightest pray for all Orthodox people, standing with the holy angels in the heavens at the throne of God.
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion —
O all-pure Virgin, have mercy on us who with faith flee unto thee who art full of loving-kindness and that ask thy fervent aid. As Mother of God Most High, entreat thy Son, Christ our God, that thy servants be saved.
Song of Ascents, the first antiphon of Tone IV
Prokimenon, in Tone IV —
For Thy sake, O Lord, we are slain all the day long.
Stichos: We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.
Gospel according to St. Matthew, § 36
(Mt. 10: 16-22)
The Lord said to His disciples: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
After the Gospel, “Have mercy on me, O God…” Glory..., Through the prayers of the royal martyrs...; Now & ever..., Through the prayers of the Theotokos...; and this sticheron, in Tone VI —
Great faith and wondrous patience, and love for thine enemies didst thou acquire, O holy martyred Tsar Nicholas, trusting in God amid thy trials, longsuffering amid thy sufferings, forgiving the enemies who slew thee, and asking that they not be punished for thy sake; for thou didst say that evil cannot conquer evil, but love alone. And thou didst meekly accept a martyr’s death for Christ. Wherefore, Christ hath exalted thee in the heavens. Him do thou entreat in behalf of those who with faith and love honor thee.
Canon of Supplication to the Theotokos [the Paraclysis], with 6 troparia, including the Irmos; and this Canon, the lamentation of the martyred Tsar, the acrostic whereof is “Take pity, O God, upon Thy sinful people,” with 8 troparia, in Tone II —
Irmos: Come, ye people, let us chant a hymn to Christ God, Who divided the sea and guided the people whom He had led forth from the bondage of Egypt, for He hath been glorified.
Beholding the mockery and spoliation of thy land by the godless foe, the pious Tsar wept from the depths of his heart, like the Prophet Jeremiah and the three youths, praying for the sinful people and groaning bitterly: O merciful Lord, forsake us not!
O how hath the Russian land, which before was prosperous and glorious in the world, been made captive by those who contend against God? All who were her friends have forsaken her and have become her foes. The Lord hath rejected tsar and prince and priest. Behold, O Lord, look down and have mercy!
Great is the abyss of the Lord’s compassion. The Lord doth not reject us forever, but taketh pity on the humbled and penitent, in accordance with the multitude of His mercies, and He delivereth His people, as of old He delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt.
Theotokion: O Mistress, hearken unto the cry of prayer of those who with faith and love have recourse to thee and hymn thee with fear.
Katavasia: I shall open my mouth...
Irmos: Establishing me upon the rock of faith, Thou hast enlarged my mouth against mine enemies, for my spirit doth exult when I chant: There is none holy as our God, and none righteous save Thee, O Lord!
At God’s behest, the guardian angel was taken away from the land of Russia, her enemies assumed the rule over it, and they that despise her prosper, because of the multitudes of the impieties of what before was a pious land; and her princes languish among alien peoples. Spurn not utterly Thy suffering people, O Lord, but turn Thou and establish them on the rock of Thy commandments.
How long, O Lord, will the way of the wicked prosper? How long will the land weep because of the evil of those who dwell therein? Hierarchs, priests, princes and faithful people have been cast down and slain. How long, O Lord, O true and holy Master, wilt Thou refrain from condemning Thine enemies for their blood? Have mercy and deliver us all from Thine enemies, and save our souls.
Bereft of deliverance, the land which before was called Christian hath been filled with tribulation and groaning, saying amid its suffering: We have sinned and transgressed, falling away from Thee, O Lord, and have not obeyed Thy commandments, nor kept them. Turn us to repentance, O God, and establish us upon the immovable rock of Thy commandments.
Theotokion: Thou art our hope and trust, O all-holy Mistress. Save our suffering homeland and thy people who entreat and call upon thy name.
Kontakion to the holy martyr Princess Elizabeth, in Tone IV —
Taking up the Cross of Christ, thou didst pass from royal glory to the glory of heaven, praying for thine enemies, O holy martyr Princess Elizabeth; and with the martyr Barbara thou didst find everlasting joy. Therefore, pray ye in behalf of our souls.
Sessional hymn, in Tone VII —
O holy passion-bearer Princess Elizabeth, when they cast thee alive into the mine shaft at Alapaevsk, together with the holy martyrs of royal blood, the princes Sergius, John, Constantine, Igor and Vladimir, as well as the martyr Barbara and the holy martyr Theodore, though all were long enfeebled because of their wounds, thou though barely alive, didst alleviate the suffering of the dying, chanting sacred hymns which they that passed by did hear. Wherefore, we beseech thee: Entreat Christ God, that He grant remission of transgressions unto those who celebrate thy holy memory with love.
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion —
When I stand before my Creator on the day of His righteous judgement, then, O Mistress, stand before me and deliver me from everlasting torment, that I may not go down into hades, but may be saved by thine assistance, O all-holy Theotokos.
Irmos: Thou didst come forth from the Virgin, neither a mediator nor an angel, but Thyself incarnate, O Lord, and hast saved me, the whole man; wherefore, I cry to thee: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
The great iniquities of Thy people were before Thine eyes, O Lord; and the godless foe hath defiled and razed Thy sanctuaries, as the Prophet Isaiah said: Your feasts My soul hateth; I will no more pardon your sins; when ye stretch forth your hands to Me, I will turn away Mine eyes from you. These people draw nigh to Me with their mouths, but their heart is far from Me. Mindful thereof, we now repent and turn to Thee, that Thy wrath may cease, and that we may prevail over those who assail us and say: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
O how the time of the iniquities of Thy people hath increased, O Lord, for Thou hast taken away our strength, Thou hast given us into the hands of transgressors and hast made us all slaves. Only Thou alone, O Lord, canst, if Thou wishest, free us, when we acknowledge our sins and turn to Thee, our Creator, and glorify Thee.
Only in God is there blessed life which is everlasting, but narrow is the way which leadeth to that life. Thy people, O Lord, have forgotten these things, and have not obeyed Thy words, O Christ our King, but have taken the wide path of sin. And perdition and violence have come upon us, yea, exile and death, that we may come to acknowledge Thee to be the only true path, O our Savior, and convert, and glorify Thee.
Theotokion: Thou art our refuge and consolation, O all-pure Theotokos. Beseech thy Son and our God to grant us salvation and the remission of sins.
Irmos: O Lord, Bestower of light and Creator of the ages: guide us in the light of Thy commandments, for we know none other God than Thee.
When the Lord rejected tsar, prince and priest, He did not spare His temples and holy things, and they were then laid waste. My heart hath been troubled within me; I sigh, but there is none to console me. O Lord, look down and take pity; enlighten us with Thy commandments, that we may turn to Thee and serve Thee.
Thy people, O Lord, wished to escape the violence of the foe, but were unable, and others have sojourned among alien peoples. This hath taken place, for false leaders have spoken vain things and foolishness, and have not spoken of sin, to avert the wrath of God, captivity and exile. And now all the lips of our enemies are opened against us, their teeth have gnashed and said: Let us swallow them up! Arise and cry out at night, pouring forth prayer unto the Lord and stretching forth thine hands unto Him, saying: Behold our destruction, O Lord! Enlighten, look upon us, and have mercy!
Youths and virgins, elders and innocent babes have been slain; the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath humbled my life to the earth; he hath set me in dark places, like the dead of old, and my soul hath been despondent within me; within me my heart is troubled; but strength hath perished, yet my hope is in the Lord. Be Thou mindful, O Lord, of my poverty and embitterment. These things I spake within my heart; wherefore, I endure suffering from God, that the Lord may regard my humility.
Theotokion: O all-pure Mary, entreat God Whom thou hast borne, that He grant thy servants remission of sins.
Irmos: Stuck fast am I in the abyss of sin, O Savior, and tempest-tossed on the deep of life; yet lead me up from the passions and save me, as Thou didst Jonah from the sea monster.
The Lord hath granted consolation, for the mercy of the Lord hath not forsaken us and His compassion hath not ended; for they are renewed with each passing day. Wherefore, let us trust in God; the Lord is our portion, let us hope in Him Who is able to deliver us from all misfortunes, as He did Jonah from the sea monster.
It is a good thing to seek God, for the Lord is good to those who trust in Him, and good it is for the soul which awaiteth in patience the salvation of God, who giveth his face to the smiter and accepteth abuse, that the Lord not utterly reject it, but deliver from destruction the souls of the humble who trust in Him.
The Lord hath sent woe upon sinful people, but He hath mercy according to His great goodness and love in His care, for He hath smitten and rendered bitter the lot of the children of men not out of the volition of His heart, but when they trampled upon His commandments; for from the Most High come punishment and prosperity alike. Let not every mortal complain concerning his chastisement, but let his face be downcast because of his sins and let him lament until he sinketh down in death and beholdeth the Lord from heaven.
Theotokion: Now do I flee unto thee, O all-pure one. Save me by thy supplications, and preserve me; for what thou wishest, thou canst do, as thou art the Mother of the Almighty.
Kontakion, in Tone VI —
Thou didst strengthen the hope of the martyred Tsar, his Tsaritsa and children, and it took flight to Thy love, proclaiming beforehand their future rest. Through their supplications, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Ikos: Beholding the faith of Christ made mighty throughout the land of Russia by the pious Tsar, and unable to endure it, the enemies of God pondered how they might destroy the Christ-loving Tsar-martyr Nicholas, and they gave him over to an undeserved death with his pious Tsaritsa, children and servants, and with all the royal race; yet were they deceived, for the way of the iniquitous shall perish, but the righteous shall live for ever. Instead of destruction and harm, they made them glorious martyrs and intercessors before God, and by their blood and that of all the new martyrs, the land of Russia, oppressed by those who contend against God, shall be saved; for this blood is the seed of new life in Christ. Through their supplications, O Lord, have mercy upon us!
Irmos: When the golden image was worshipped on the plain of Dura, Thy three youths spurned the ungodly command, and, cast into the midst of the fire, bedewed, they sang: Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!
Turn us to Thee, O Lord, and we shall repent; renew our days by our ministering unto Thee as before, for Thou art blessed, and Thy name is praised and glorified for ever. For just art Thou in all that Thou hast wrought for us, and all of Thy works are truth, and straight are Thy paths; and all of Thy judgements are true. Wherefore, with contrite heart and humble spirit, let us say: Blessed art Thou, O God, Who art supremely hymned and exalted for ever!
O Lord God, blessed art Thou; for with true judgement hast Thou brought all of these sufferings upon us because of our sin. For we have sinned and transgressed, and have neither preserved nor kept that which Thou hast commanded us, that all may be well with us, and that we may glorify the holy name of Thy glory, which is supremely hymned and exalted for ever.
O Lord, Thou Remitter of all the debts of sin, grant the grace of forgiveness unto the sinful land of Russia which Thou hast punished with bitter wounds. Yet not in Thy wrath, but according to the multitude of Thy compassions and Thine ineffable mercy cleanse the Orthodox land of the godless foe; raise up, O Compassionate One, thine anointed tsar, and hearken unto us; grant peace to the Church and salvation to Thy people, the Tsar and all the countless assembly of new martyrs entreat Thee, the one blessed God of our fathers.
Theotokion: O Virgin Theotokos, who gavest birth unto the Word, thy Creator, in manner past recounting: Him do thou entreat, together with the great martyred Tsar, the Tsaritsa, their children, servants, and the other royal martyrs, and all the new martyrs of Russia, that He have mercy upon our souls.
Irmos: God, Who descended into the fiery furnace for the Hebrew children and transformed the flame into dew, hymn ye as Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely for all ages!
Deliver us from standing at Thy left hand, O Lord Who orderest all things for our good and hast sent fiery purification upon our land, that we may cry out unceasingly: Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord!
A great treasure have we in the holy Faith which Christ hath given us, unworthy though we are; and we cherish it amid prosperity and amid sufferings, as the great assembly of new passion-bearers preserved the Faith even unto death. And let us cry out with them: Hymn the Lord, O ye works, and exalt Him supremely forever!
The all-good God, desiring to reveal the strength of the faith and the power of the patience of the royal martyrs, gave them a cup of bitter sufferings to drink and a martyr’s death to undergo; and they did not murmur, but, like innocent lambs, opened not their mouths; and with patience and joy they endured all things, crying out: Hymn ye the Lord and exalt Him supremely forever!
Theotokion: O Theotokos, who gavest birth unto the Savior and Master of all, thou hast been shown to us to be the mediatress of our salvation; wherefore, we beseech thee: Intercede, that the grievously suffering land of Russia be delivered from the godless, and vouchsafe salvation unto all that faithfully hymn thee forever!
Irmos: O ye faithful, with hymns let us magnify in oneness of mind the Word of God, Who from God came in His ineffable wisdom to renew Adam who had grievously fallen into corruption, and Who became ineffably incarnate of the holy Virgin for our sake.
Wide is the path which leadeth to perdition, and many are they that enter thereupon, said the Lord. The people of Russia did not hearken unto this saying of the Gospel, and the wrath of God hath overtaken them; deliver us therefrom, O Christ, the holy and great martyred Tsar Nicholas and those slain with him pray, and as Thou lovest mankind, save Thou our souls.
O Jesus Christ our God, in accordance with the multitude of Thy mercies turn us, and we shall be saved; look down from heaven with mercy and love, and behold, for Thou hast given us over into the hands of the iniquitous, and we are humbled throughout all the earth because of our sins. And now we shall follow Thee and fear Thee, and seek Thy countenance. Put us not to shame, but save our souls, through the supplications of the holy royal passion-bearers.
Show forth Thy power, the passion-bearing Tsar beseecheth Thee; rescue us from our godless enemies by Thy wonders, and deal with us according to Thy meekness and the multitude of Thy mercies; and let all that act evilly against Thy servants be put to shame, and let their might be cast down, that they may understand that Thou art the one Lord God of all the world, Who art glorious and savest our souls!
Theotokion: Thou art our strength, thou art our boast and joy, our preserver, aid, refuge, invincible intercessor and protection of the Russian land. O all-pure Theotokos, with the martyred Tsar and the great multitude of the new martyrs, pray that thy servants be saved.
The royal martyrs, who suffered for Thy sake, O Christ, underwent many torments and have received crowns of glory in the heavens, that they may pray in behalf of our souls.
Glory..., Now & ever...: Theotokion —
After God it is on thee that we place our hope, O all-pure Theotokos, and we pray to thee: Entreat Him Who was born of thee, that He grant peace and great mercy unto all the world.
At the Praises, 4 stichera, in Tone III —
O royal passion-bearers and martyrs, ye were led as pure lambs before the Master. Him do ye beseech that He save our souls. Twice
O glorious royal martyrs, your wounds and stripes heal the wounds of sin of all the faithful, teaching great patience, O holy athletes of the Lord!
Tormented with grievous wounds and sufferings, O holy royal passion-bearers, ye did not reject the true life of our Lord, nor were ye afraid of those who contend against God. Wherefore, by your supplications make us all steadfast.
Glory..., in Tone VI —
By the prayers of Thy holy martyrs who were slain for their faith in Thee, O Christ — the Grand Dukes Michael, Paul, Demetrius and George, and the faithful royal servants: Elias, Basil and Eugene, Anastasia, Catherine and Anna, Alexis, John, Clement, John and Nicholas — have mercy and save Thou our souls, for Thou art good and lovest mankind.
Now & ever..., in the same tone —
O Theotokos, thou art the true vine which hath budded forth for us the Fruit of life. We beseech thee, O Mistress: Pray thou with the holy royal passion-bearers and all the new martyrs, that the Lord have mercy upon our souls.
At the Liturgy
On the Beatitudes, eight troparia: four from Ode III, and four from Ode VI.
Prokimenon, in Tone IV —
For Thy sake, O Lord, we are slain all the day long.
Stichos: We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Epistle to the Romans, §99 [Rom. 8: 28-39]
Brethren: We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, those He also called: and whom He called, those He also justified: and whom He justified, those He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He Who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God Who justifieth. Who is he who condemneth? It is Christ Who died, yea rather, Who is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Alleluia, in Tone I —
Stichos: Our God is refuge and strength, a helper in afflictions which mightily befall us.
Stichos: O Lord, save the king, and hearken unto us in the day when we call upon Thee.
Gospel according to St. John, § 52
[Jn. 15: 17-16: 2]
The Lord said to His disciples: “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you: The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him Who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He who hateth Me hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law: They hated Me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
Communion Verse —
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous; praise is meet for the upright.